The MA program in Islamic and Near Eastern Studies offers students an opportunity for dedicated, interdisciplinary study of the history, literatures, and cultures of the Middle East from the Middle Ages to the present. It is designed for students who ideally have some college-level preparation in the field and who wish to deepen their expertise in preparation for a PhD program. It is also well-suited for those planning on professional careers in education, law, publishing, business, government, and private agencies whose work touches upon some aspect of Islamic and Near Eastern Studies. Our faculty offer graduate-level instruction in Islamic and Near Eastern history; Islam in world history; Islamic religion and law; anthropology of Islam; premodern Muslim political theory and practice; Near Eastern urban studies; and both classical and modern Arabic literatures. Admission to the MA program normally requires proficiency in Arabic language equivalent to one year of college-level study. After a typical two years of coursework, students will be expected to have completed third-year Arabic successfully before receiving the MA degree.
- A minimum of 36 credits from graduate-level courses, which may include up to 6 units transferred from another institution. (Note: first or second-year language classes do not count toward these 36 credits.)
- Successful completion of third-year Arabic
- Ability to use Arabic source material and scholarly articles, to be demonstrated in at least one major seminar paper
- A second major research paper to be written either in a second seminar or in an independent study to be supervised by one of the faculty associated with the program
- Students have the option of writing a Master’s thesis in place of the two major research papers (see also Policies and Timelines).
- At the end of their program of study, degree candidates are required to complete successfully an oral examination, lasting no more than one hour, based on either the two research papers submitted (and revised) for this purpose or the Master’s thesis.
- Please note also the departmental Policies and Timelines.